India Will Continue to Stick to S-400 Deal Despite US Opposition – Reports
The chairman of the US House Armed Services Committee, William Thornberry, has warned that India's decision to purchase S-400 missile systems from Russia would ride roughshod over New Delhi-Washington cooperation.
The Hindustan Times newspaper has quoted the Indian Defense Ministry sources as saying on condition of anonymity that Washington's concerns will not prevent New Delhi from going ahead with its deal to buy Russia's S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile systems.
The sources said that "the Defense Ministry will approach the apex Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for approval to purchase five units of Russian S-400 air defense systems [in line with the $5.5 billion deal]."
According to them, "the ministry has received no instructions" on how to scrap the Russian-Indian deal on the purchase of the S-400 systems due to the White House's opposition.
"The CCS headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take the final decision now that both countries have completed negotiations to close the deal," the sources underlined.
Their remarks came after William Thornberry, the chairman of the US House Armed Services Committee, said that India's intention to buy the S-400 systems from Russia may "threaten our ability to work interoperably in the future."
He added that India's acquisition of the Russian S-400 systems could cost it access to sophisticated US military equipment, including Predator drones for surveillance and reconnaissance missions, which could be used in operations against terrorists in Pakistan.
In early April, a source close to the S-400 talks told Sputnik that new US sanctions against Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport would not affect the negotiations between Russia and India on the supply of S-400 Triumph air defense missile systems to New Delhi.
In a separate development, Vladimir Drozhzhov, deputy director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said that Moscow hoped the S-400 deal with India would be finalized by the second quarter of this year.
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